JAMMU, Jan 27: Strange but true that three important check dams sanctioned by Government during 2007-08 and undertaken by Irrigation and Flood Control Department in Kandi belt of Jammu division, are still incomplete while Rural Development Department claimed to have spent Rs 17 crore on the development of 1053 traditional ponds in Jammu region which also just appear as cosmetic exercise.
These revelations came to the fore in a written reply to the question of Rani Gargi Billoria from Congress on development of water bodies and water conservation projects in the Upper House the other day. The Government claimed that Irrigation and Flood Control Department started work on construction of Check Dam Wajoo Nallah at an estimated cost of Rs 25.85 crore under Accelerated Irrigational Benefit Project (AIBP) during 2007-08. An amount of Rs 20.56 crore stand released and utilized. The work was still in progress at the dam and has not been completed as yet.
Referring to the construction of another Check Dam on Basantar river at Taloor village in district Samba, the Government said the work on this project with the cost of Rs 14.75 crore was also started during 2008 under AIBP scheme. An amount of Rs 13.27 crore has been spent on this project but the work was still incomplete.
Another Check dam on river Tarnah at Pacca Kotha near Dinga Amb in district Kathua with the cost of Rs 14.37 crore was started by the same agency during 2008-09 under AIBP. The funds to the tune of Rs 11.64 crore were released and utilized on the project ending March, 2016 but the work was still incomplete.
Interestingly, these projects which were supposed to be completed within 24 months by the agency, jumped several deadlines but the people at the helm of affairs during past 8-10 years failed to complete these projects in time. The agency, however, claimed to have completed Check dam on Kharara Nalla at Chowki Chora (Akhnoor) with the cost of Rs 5.50 crore and another Check dam on Jakh Nallah in district Samba.
The Government further disclosed that another large barrage (Artificial water body) is being developed on river Tawi at Jammu with the cost of Rs 69.70 crore. Rs 57.35 core have been spent so far on the project but it is also incomplete. The work was launched on this project during July 2010. Rs 84 lakh more were spent during 2016-17. It is unlikely to be completed by the end of March this year.
Replying to another question, the Government said that in Jammu division a total 1053 traditional ponds were developed/ upgraded by the Rural Development Department and funds to the tune of Rs 16.71 core were spent on them during last two years. Giving break up, it said that in district Jammu 186 ponds were developed, with the cost of Rs 530 lakh, in Udhampur 275 ponds with the cost of 312 lakh, 104 in Reasi with the cost of Rs 103 lakhs, 35 in district Samba with the cost of Rs 165 lakh, 30 in Doda with the cost of 49.64 lakh, 191 ponds in Rajouri district with the cost of Rs 229.70 lakh, 38 in Poonch with the cost of Rs 23.28 lakh, 80 in Kishtwar with the cost of Rs 86.52 lakh while 79 ponds in district Ramban with the cost of Rs 82.47 lakh by the Rural Development Department.